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A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,785 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 19 critic

On the Russian front in 1944 German Private Ernst Graeber receives a leave and visits his family in Germany but Germany isn't the same country he left behind.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)

A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ernst Graeber
...
Elizabeth Kruse Graeber (as Lilo Pulver)
Jock Mahoney ...
Immerman
Don DeFore ...
Hermann Boettcher
...
Reuter
Erich Maria Remarque ...
Dieter Borsche ...
Captain Rahe
Barbara Rütting ...
Woman Guerrilla
...
Oscar Binding
Charles Regnier ...
Joseph
Dorothea Wieck ...
Frau Lieser
Kurt Meisel ...
Heini
Agnes Windeck ...
Frau Witte
Clancy Cooper ...
Sauer
John Van Dreelen ...
Political Officer
Edit

Storyline

In 1944, a company of German soldiers on the Russian front are numbed by the horrors and hardships of war when Private Ernst Graeber's long awaited furlough comes through. Back home in Germany, he finds his home bombed. While hopelessly searching for his parents, he meets lovely Elizabeth Kruse, daughter of a political prisoner; together they try to wrest sanity and survival from a world full of hatred. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Born out of the blazing passions of war! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 September 1958 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Will o' the Wisp  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Australian DVD sleeve notes, they state that Douglas Sirk's "standing amongst the new auteurist critics in Europe was on the rise, with Jean-Luc Godard writing on Sirk's 1957 film, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, in the influential journal 'Cahiers du Cinema'." See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie when the platoon is dismissed, one of the soldiers is seen carrying a machine gun on his shoulder. It is clearly visible that there is no barrel inside the barrel shroud. See more »

Quotes

Professor Pohlmann: Without doubt, there would be no need for faith.
See more »


Soundtracks

A TIME TO LOVE
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Charles Henderson
Performed by uncredited blonde in cabaret scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A strange marriage of warfilm and Hollywood romanticism
29 July 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The films of Douglas Sirk have been variously described as "masterpieces" and "tosh". I think the answer lies somewhere in between. Certainly the series he made at the peak of his career for Universal International in the 'fifties are romantic melodramas of a superior kind. Although photographed in gaudy chocolate-box colours with soundtracks overladen with scores drenched in aural syrup and with sometimes the most outlandish of plots - "Magnificant Obsession" for instance - they have, beneath their surface glitter, a hard edged observation of an affluent American society struggling to come to grips with moral values - "All that Heaven Allows" and "Imitation of Life" are particularly good examples. But, interesting as these film are, it is the odd man out, a film set not in America at all but in Germany and the eastern front in the closing stages of the Second World War, "A Time to Love and a Time to Die", that, in spite of its not inconsiderable unevenness, could well be his most lasting legacy. Its most striking feature is that, notwithstanding its vastly different territory, it remains a Sirk film stylistically. The director almost seems to be signing his signature with the shot of pink blossom against the opening and closing credits. Although the outer sections of a German unit under shellfire on the eastern front are the very stuff of warscape recreation at their near best, it is the long central passage where the young German soldier - surprisingly well played by John Gavin - returns on leave to his heavily bombed town, that is the most Sirkian. Here, between devastating airaids, the hero forms an idyllic romantic attachment to a vaguely remembered friend from childhood followed by a whirlwind courtship. Amazingly for the last night of his leave the couple find, amidst all the devastation, an untouched house for the consumation of their marriage, where they are tended by a kindly frau who brings them a bottle of wine from the cellar. At this point the airaid is only glimpsed through the window. At an earlier point in the leave the couple dine in an unbelievably stylish restaurant, although here at least Sirk has the honesty to interrupt the proceedings with a pretty devastating direct hit which leaves one diner running is a sea of flames. If I have reservations about some of the romantic trappings of the scenes in Germany, I have none about the intense realism of the scenes on the eastern front. Would that the film was all on this level.


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